Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect. —Brené Brown

Dr. Brene Brownby Brené Brown

The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting, but as hard as we try, we can’t turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like “Never good enough” and “What will people think?”

Texas Conference for Women speaker Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She is the author of “The Gifts of Imperfection” (Hazelden) and has a blog on courage.

She poses the questions:

How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?

How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?

In this article for CNN, Brené asks why, when we know that there’s no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone?

“Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. If we want to live and love with our whole hearts and engage in the world from a place of worthiness, our first step is practicing the courage it takes to own our stories and tell the truth about who we are. It doesn’t get braver than that.”

Brené Brown will lead the workshop “Inspirational Leader: Harnessing the Power of Courage, Authenticity, and Vulnerability” at the 2011 Texas Conference for Women.